About Our Creators Corps Program


The selection process for the first three seasons of the Creators Corps program is complete. Applications for the 2025-26 season are now open! Deadline to apply is March 1, 2024.

Apply Now!



The Creators Corps is the first program of its kind that deeply integrates artists into the orchestra and the city. Three Creators each year move to Louisville for the upcoming season and live in the Shelby Park neighborhood for at least 30 weeks. Throughout their time in Louisville, the Creators compose new works for the orchestra, design educational and community projects, and integrate into the fabric of city life.

The Creators Corps program received a three-year, $750,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and additional support from generous individual donors locally and nationally.


Since its founding, the Louisville Orchestra has supported and sustained the music of its time and celebrated living composers. In 1937, the LO board chairman (and later Louisville’s mayor) Charles Farnsley and Robert Whitney, the LO’s founding Music Director and conductor, conceived an adventurous plan: to make the commissioning, performance, and recording of new works a centerpiece of the LO’s mission. Between 1950 and 1992, the Louisville Orchestra commissioned and recorded 52 new works by composers worldwide and released nearly 150 LPs on its First Edition Records label, comprising more than 450 works by living composers.

In the spirit of First Edition Records, the Creators Corps represents a giant leap forward. Through this program, the LO invites three creators per season to act as artist-leaders, developing meaningful relationships with Louisville and its citizens and embodying the orchestra’s conviction that music is a fundamental part of civic life.

When Teddy Abrams arrived as Music Director in 2014, the LO renewed its dedication to new music through forward-thinking programming. The LO Creators Corps is the boldest embodiment of this mission to date. It connects the LO’s foundational ethos with a new vision: creators can sustain and be sustained by the cultural life of a city.

Applicant Profile

We seek creators with bold ideas about collaborating with an orchestra. Our ideal candidates:

  • Have a distinctive, fully realized creative voice with the technical capacity to achieve their vision.
  • Are fluent in composing for orchestral forces (or be willing to collaborate with someone who is), though they need not necessarily come from a traditional Western Classical background.
  • Are passionate about forging relationships with community organizations to advance music’s role in civic life.
  • Care deeply about education, having experience in or being excited to work with local students and teachers on creative music-making programs.
  • Be willing to engage with and be accessible to residents of the neighborhood where they will live, participate in public events, and share their work.

The Louisville Orchestra aims to assemble a cohort of “artist-leaders” that represent diverse backgrounds and practices yet share the LO’s conviction that music is a fundamental part of civic life.

Resident Responsibilities

Throughout their residency, each creator must:

  • Make Louisville, KY, their primary residence for 30-48 weeks of the year.
  • Create at least one large-scale orchestral work for the LO’s subscription season
  • Design at least one community-based project per year within one of the following categories:
    1.  Family programming: Create new and entertaining ways for audiences of all ages to engage with the orchestra and its musicians.
    2. Community Engagement: Create collaborative works in partnership with another Louisville-based organization that explores social/cultural themes, engages with the mission/audience of the partnering organization, or connects with listeners beyond the concert hall.
    3.  School Programs: Create works that feature or are performed by/for Louisville-area K-12 students, helping them connect with their instruments, the orchestra, and music generally in a new way
  • Other projects, as proposed and agreed upon between the Creator and the LO.
  • Curate a portion of at least one program per year for the LO.
  • Assist with existing educational and community partnership initiatives.
  • Participate in public and private events, media interviews, pre-concert talks, and other promotional activities
Residency Benefits

Each of the three selected creators will receive the following for their season appointment:

  • Complimentary housing for themselves and their families in one of three private homes in the Shelby Park neighborhood in Louisville, KY.
  • Access to a computer, studio monitors, MIDI controller, microphones, and audio/notation software in their places of residencies.
  • $40,000 salary for the length of their appointment.
  • $1,000 relocation stipend.
  • $300 transportation stipend.
  • Individual health insurance coverage from the LO.
  • Access to LO musicians, staff, and Teddy Abrams as “sounding boards” and regular collaborators.
  • Should they wish, each creator can receive private conducting training from Teddy Abrams
Important Dates & Deadlines

Stay tuned for updated dates and deadlines for the 2025-26 application period.


The LO provides each of the three selected Creators with a fully furnished, single-family house in Louisville’s Shelby Park neighborhood for their residency. See below for more information and photos: 

House 1

  • Built in 2021
  • 3 BR
  • 2 BA
  • 1,512 sq ft.

Click here for photo gallery

House 2

  • Built in 2021
  • 3 BR
  • 2 BA
  • 1,200 sq ft.

Click here for photo gallery

House 3

  • Built in 1900, completely remodeled
  • 3 BR
  • 1 BA
  • 1,340 sq ft

Click here for photo gallery


About Shelby Park 

Shelby Park is a neighborhood two miles southeast of downtown Louisville, named after Kentucky’s first governor, Isaac Shelby. It was first populated by German immigrants in the early 1900s. By the 1950s, the neighborhood’s residents were majority African American. In the second half of the 20th century, the area suffered from disinvestment and segregation due to the construction of I-65 – separating it from Old Louisville, another historic Louisville neighborhood. This resulted in the discriminatory practice of redlining: policies denying mortgages to African Americans and designating the area as “detrimental” with “undesirable populations.”

In the last seven years, the area has seen a dramatic resurgence thanks to the steadfast work of its community and neighborhood association. Today, Shelby Park features ethnic and economic diversity and is known for its concentration of murals, particularly along Logan and Shelby streets.

The Shelby Park neighborhood is known for its 17-acre park by the same name. Shelby Park was designed by the Olmsted Firm in 1907, and although it is one of 17 parks designed by the firm, Shelby Park is the only Olmsted-designed park in Louisville with a Carnegie library designed by Arthur Loomis.

Shelby Park is home to Logan Street Market, Louisville’s first and only year-round indoor market with food vendors, artisans, a coffee bar, a brewery, and a Farmer’s Market located at Logan and Oak Streets in Shelby Park.

Shelby Park’s architecture is varied. Most of the residential homes in Shelby Park were constructed around 1900 to 1910 and are shotgun-style cottages and camelbacks, with some two-story brick federal-style buildings.


Applicant Eligibility 

Only individual creators may apply to this program. An eligible creator is: 

  • An individual composer, songwriter, producer, sound artist, or intermedia artist.
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent resident based in the U.S. or its territories. (the LO is unable to provide visas at this time.)

While the Louisville Orchestra is an institution rooted in the Western Art Music tradition, we encourage applications from creators and composers whose backgrounds and experiences lie outside this tradition.

Application Materials 

In the application portal, we ask all applicants to submit the following materials: 

  • Resume or CV.  
  • Three (3) works you feel most strongly demonstrate your voice and technical capacity as a creator. If you have composed works for orchestra or large ensemble, please include them. Submit links to scores, recordings, videos, text, or other documentation appropriate to your work.
  • Rank your interest in developing projects for the following community engagement programs:
    1. Family Programming: Create new and entertaining ways for audiences of all ages to engage with the orchestra and its musicians. E.g., a narrative work based upon a piece of literature for our MakingMUSIC program, a project involving creative participation from audience members, or working with small ensembles to create new family programs for our Once Upon an Orchestra series.
    2. Community Engagement: Create collaborative works in partnership with another Louisville-based organization that explores social/cultural themes, engages with the mission/audience of the partnering organization, or connects with listeners beyond the concert hall. E.g., a site-specific installation involving LO musicians, a collaborative intermedia project, composing/orchestrating accompaniments, and leading workshops for Louisville Orchestra Rap School.
    3. Education: Create works that feature or are performed by/for Louisville-area K-12 students, helping them connect with their instruments, the orchestra, and music generally in new ways. E.g., a work designed for young audiences, a piece written to be played by LO musicians and/or students as part of the MakingMUSIC program, co-creating and co-teaching educational workshops or residencies with Louisville-area schools.
  • A proposal for an example project you would undertake in one of the above categories (500 words or fewer). Note: this is purely for example purposes and will not necessarily be the project you’ll undertake if selected. 
  • Responses to each of the following questions (500 words or fewer per question): 
    1. Describe your artistic goals, methods, or process. What is most important to you in your creative practice? 
    2. Describe why this opportunity interests you and how you envision it will help you to advance your creative goals as an artist. 
    3. Describe your community -- however you choose to define it -- and your and your work's relationship with it.  
    4. Discuss what methods of public discourse (e.g., presentations, social activities, etc.) you consider helpful in sharing and creating conversations about your work. 
    5. Describe your ideal (most productive, creative, relaxing) day in as much detail as possible. What would you do? Where would you go? What would your schedule be like? 
Judging Procedures

The LO assembles a Selection Committee to determine each year’s three finalists. The committee will consider creators from a variety of backgrounds who have distinctive artistic voices, are dedicated to community and educational outreach, and care deeply about grounding their musical practice in social engagement. The committee will evaluate the applications according to the following criteria: 

  • Artistic Craft (50%): 
    • Strong sense of the creator’s voice. 
    • Technical proficiency. 
    • Quality of work samples (“quality” always being defined by a cultural context) 
  • Community Orientation (40%): 
    • Capacity to develop and execute community engagement projects, both self-directed and in partnership with the LO. 
    • Willingness and ability to cultivate relationships with local cultural and educational organizations, the other creators in the cohort, and citizens of Louisville.
    • Desire to be an active and visible presence in the Shelby Park neighborhood
  • Mutual Benefit/Impact (10%):  
    • The degree to which working with the Louisville Orchestra will help realize the applicant's vision
    • The degree to which participating in the residency will benefit all parties (the creator, the orchestra, and the community)

The judging process will take place in three rounds. After the initial screening and two review rounds of applicants' submitted materials,  the judging panel will select semifinalists who will be invited for brief Zoom interviews with the panel. At the end of the third round, the panel will select three finalists to invite to participate in the program for each season. The judging panel will consist of Music Director Teddy Abrams, musicians and members of the LO staff, and community partners.  

Resources and Links